Here are a few notes from Sounders FC practice heading into Friday’s home game against Real Salt Lake:
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— Given that the U.S. men’s national team clinched a berth in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on Tuesday, Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid was asked how his team might be affected by call-ups for the next round of qualifying Oct. 11 and Oct. 15. “There is an MLS season going on and teams are competing for playoff spots and so forth,” Schmid said. “I think Jurgen (Klinsmann) is a smart-enough coach; he’ll understand that and take that into consideration.”
— I asked if he’s talked to Klinsmann about it since the two have a close relationship, and Schmid said he hasn’t and that he doesn’t think he needs to.
— Regarding an update on Eddie Johnson, who looked to take a blow to the head in the 2-0 win against Mexico and had to be subbed out of the game, Schmid said the forward is fine. Johnson and Clint Dempsey are traveling back to Seattle today, on the same flight as sporting director Chris Henderson, in fact. “They both say they feel pretty good,” Schmid said, “but we’ll see how they feel tomorrow and we’ll make those decisions tomorrow.”
— Asked if Johnson will need to undergo any concussion protocol, Schmid wasn’t sure but said Sounders trainer Randy Noteboom has been in contact with the USMNT trainer. Schmid added: “I don’t think they classified it as a concussion. I think they said it’s right now more of a sore neck. I don’t know, but Eddie said he felt fine.”
— And how about an update on Brad Evans? The midfielder sprained his calf against the Columbus Crew and there had been a thought that he could be ready for Friday. “We’ll see,” Schmid said. “It’s still sort of a day-to-day thing. Again, he did more today, but we’re trying to be careful with him. If he can play Friday, we can certainly use him. We’d love to have him out there, but we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the next game by pushing him out too early on Friday. So we’re trying to balance those two.”
— And how about Shalrie Joseph and the sprained knee? “It’s going a little bit slow right now,” Schmid said. “He’s making progress, he’s starting to run on the treadmill, but it’s still a little bit away.”
— On another topic, I asked GM Adrian Hanauer if there is a decision whether or not they’ll replace the FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field in the offseason. Hanauer said there isn’t one. The turf was last replaced after the 2011 season and was in bad shape after three years.